“Atrocious,” Portuguese Journalist hits out at Benfica over Jota. “An absolute travesty and incredibly poor management”

There’s clearly a head of stream developing over in Lisbon and Benfica’s regret at allowing Celtic to include the £6m option to buy clause in the loan deal agreed last summer for Jota is quite apparent. We’ve had plenty of speculation on whether Jota would complete his permanent transfer in this window or if the saga would drag on to the end of the season.

Certainly Ange Postecoglou was going nothing away at last week’s media conference attended by The Celtic Star and the impression given was certainly that speculation that Jota signing the deal with Celtic was imminent appeared to be wide of the mark.

Jota of Celtic celebrates with teammates after scoring their side’s second goal during the UEFA Europa League group G match between Bayer Leverkusen and Celtic FC at BayArena on November 25, 2021. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

Nothing much has changed really since before the transfer window opened. Celtic have the option to buy and Benfica will be obliged to sell but it is all going to come down to what the player decides himself. Previously he was for some bizarre reason regarded by the previous Benfica boss as surplus to requirements at his boyhood club. Now things appear to be different and there apparently is a strong desire to retain the player who has been in sparking form for Celtic before his hamstring injury against Hearts at the start of December.

Jota was back against Hibs on Monday night, coming off the bench to receive a huge welcome from The Celtic Support, who even created a new Jota song for the player.

What’s best for Jota in Jota’s opinion will determine where he is playing his football next season. Ange Postecoglou says he’s not going to try to sell Celtic to anyone – and that includes Jota. Celtic could be in the Champions League group stages, there’s the league, Scottish Cup and even the Conference League all available to win before that and Jota’s certainly made more of an impact at Celtic in four months of football than he did at Benfica.

Jota of Celtic celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Europa League group G match between Bayer Leverkusen and Celtic FC a on November 25, 2021 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

He’s a player who could go all the way to the top in the game so both Celtic and Benfica would be likely stepping stones to an even bigger move further down the line. The question for Jota to ask himself is where can he shine as a player and develop further and the answer to that one is going to determine the decision he takes.

Now Portuguese journalist Alex Goncalves has hit out at Benfica over the insertion of an option to buy clause in the loan agreement reached with Celtic in the summer.

“Benfica obviously remain keen to keep hold of João ‘Jota’ Filipe, hence why Celtic still haven’t managed to sign him permanently. All still up to Jota, but Benfica would like him to return to his boyhood club. There’s a feeling that there’s a decent chance it’ll happen.

“Even if Jota chooses to stay at Benfica, it’s an incredibly lucky escape. The fact that Benfica included a £6M option fee for Celtic is an absolute travesty and incredibly poor management. Benfica have made some impressive sales over the years. This one would be atrocious.”

He added: No doubt it was a travesty to include such a low permanent transfer fee option in the loan, it really was. Very poor management from the club. They’ll be hoping they make a very lucky escape and Jota chooses to come back, but you can see why staying at Celtic may be tempting.”

7th November 2021; Dens Park, Dundee, Scotland: Scottish Premiership football, Dundee FC versus Celtic; Joao Pedro Neves Filipe Jota of Celtic makes it 3-1 in the 47th minute

Jota of Celtic celebrates with teammate David Turnbull after scoring their side’s second goal during the UEFA Europa League group G match between Bayer Leverkusen and Celtic FC at BayArena on November 25, 2021 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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